First of all, let me state that I have nothing against GM Brian Cashman or the New York Yankees organization. I know Cashman does his best to keep a playoff-contending team year in and out.
What this is for is to just lay out the possibilities that "could have been," as the Yankees' goal towards 28th championship has officially started today.
Now, the following prospects are very hyped ones—or at least they used to be.
These guys could have been traded for superstars that could have impacted the division and put the Yankees in much better positions than they are in now.
Here is just a sample of them from Cashman's tenure...
It caught me off guard in 2010 when I heard the Baltimore Orioles had quite an interest in this 23-year-old shortstop.
Nunez seems to be another Brett Gardner type of player but not in the skills department. What it means is that he is under the radar, and people underestimate his abilities.
Nunez can hit for average with a decent amount of stolen bags, which raises the question if he will one day replace Derek Jeter at shortstop one day.
However, with Jeter locked in pinstripes for the next three seasons, there is still a possibility that Nunez can be traded for a superstar to fill in the Yankees' pitching.
Austin Romine is only second behind Jesus Montero in the catching department of prospects.
Romine is known as the guy that has better overall tools than Jesus Montero, especially behind the plate. But with Russell Martin catching for the year, with an improved defensive Montero, there seems to be a possibility he can be traded with his high value.
Gustavo Molina seems to be the favorite to be the backup this season at the Major League level.
There is also Gary Sanchez and J.P. Murphy, so, with the catching position one of the deepest in the game, Romine just might be the last puzzle piece for a better pitcher than Freddy Garcia.
I would not like to see this tall right-hander go, as it scares me every time there's trade talk involving him.
He can one day be an ace at the front of the rotation along with Ivan Nova, which I would love to see.
But I would also like to see another ace along with C.C. Sabathia.
Brackman's pitching repertoire, which includes a blazing fastball along with a straight changeup, is a nice set of pitches to get guys out.
His knuckle-curve might also replace Mike Mussina one day. And, of course, you can't have an effective pitcher with just three pitches, which is why Brackman has his two seam fastball.
This guy sure has high value.
Last, but not least, there is Joba Chamberlain, who was mentioned in talks in a trade for Dan Haren in 2010 and for Roy Halladay in 2009.
Chamberlain, now 25 years old, has lost his trade value significantly. When he was in his prime for the trade market, he looked like a guy that could be another John Smoltz, where he can close out games while also starting in front of the rotation.
Heck, there were talks of Joba replacing Mo one day as the closer in the Bronx.
But those days are over, and the push for Dan Haren was probably the last time Joba could be effective in trade rumors. There were reports that if Cashman had just given up Chamberlain, the deal would have gone through.
Also, considering that Joba was mentally not on target, there was no knowing if he was a starter, an eighth innings guy or a sixth innings guy, which did not help.
Earlier in the offseason, there was an article that a shoulder injury that Joba had suffered a couple of seasons ago is the main problem why he isn't as effective as he was.
We do not know if this is 100 percent true, but what is sure is the fact that Joba could have been traded for a solid pitcher who could have changed the division race.